Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Residents to Enjoy Free Weekend Bus Travel in January

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In a move aimed at boosting city centre footfall and providing relief during a typically tight financial period, First Bus and Stagecoach have announced that all residents of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be offered free weekend bus travel throughout the month of January. The bus companies attribute this initiative to the positive impact of the controversial city bus gates, which have generated savings for the firms.

Earlier this year, the introduction of bus gates on Bridge Street, Guild Street, and Market Street sparked outrage and a petition signed by thousands of individuals. Critics argued that the bus gates hindered drivers’ access to the struggling city centre, limiting support for local businesses by cutting off various driving routes. However, First Bus and Stagecoach have asserted that these measures have already accelerated journey times for over 600,000 people each month in the city centre.

In a joint statement, the bus companies expressed their commitment to reinvesting the savings derived from the bus priority measures into customer benefits. They also emphasized the goal of encouraging more people to utilize buses, particularly in January when financial constraints are commonly felt. The offer of free travel in Aberdeen throughout the month is intended to alleviate some of these pressures.

Graeme Macfarlan, commercial director for First Bus Scotland, expressed delight at providing free travel and highlighted the positive implications for individuals navigating the city. Macfarlan emphasized the importance of sustainable, reliable, and affordable transport in ensuring the success of any city centre. He also mentioned the companies’ efforts toward zero-emission transportation, with nearly 50 such vehicles currently operating in the city on a daily basis.

David Beaton, managing director for Stagecoach North Scotland, emphasized the collaborative approach between local public transport providers to secure a prosperous future for Aberdeen. Beaton stated that the initiative aimed to provide a boost to the city centre during a challenging time of the year for both customers and local businesses. Moreover, the promotion seeks to encourage a shift toward more sustainable forms of transportation.

Residents will be able to enjoy free bus travel on the specified dates in January, which include the 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th, and 28th. Concession card holders will still be required to scan their cards during the promotional period. This initiative represents a joint effort by First Bus and Stagecoach to support the community, promote sustainable transport, and stimulate the local economy during the winter season.


Source: Aberdeen Live

Aberdeen Chosen as Second Headquarters for Department for Energy Security, Boosting Scottish Economy and Net Zero Efforts

Aberdeen Chosen As Second Headquarters For Department For Energy Security, Boosting Scottish Economy And Net Zero Efforts

In a significant development, Aberdeen has been selected as the second headquarters for the Department for Energy Security, as part of the UK Government’s plans to relocate civil service roles outside of Westminster. The move is expected to be completed by 2027, with the aim of shifting 22,000 Civil Service positions away from the capital by 2030.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack expressed his enthusiasm for the decision, hailing it as “great news” that underscores the government’s commitment to the north-east of Scotland, as well as the oil, gas, and renewables sectors. This move aligns with the government’s broader efforts to support the region’s economy and promote sustainable energy sources.

This decision builds upon the existing Aberdeen City Regional Deal, which had previously secured £90 million in funding for the city’s Net Zero Technology Centre. The centre focuses on advancing technologies to decarbonise the oil and gas industry, playing a crucial role in the nation’s transition to a net-zero economy.

Energy Minister Andrew Bowie emphasised the significance of the department’s second headquarters in Aberdeen, highlighting the region’s pivotal role in the country’s journey toward achieving its net-zero ambitions. This decision not only strengthens the local economy but also reinforces the government’s commitment to fostering sustainable energy practices.

The move of the Department for Energy Security to Aberdeen marks a milestone in decentralising governmental functions and recognising the expertise and potential of regions outside of the capital. It is expected to create new employment opportunities, attract investment, and further establish Aberdeen as a hub for energy competence and innovation.

As the transition to a net-zero future gains momentum, the selection of Aberdeen as a key administrative centre demonstrates the government’s dedication to supporting the energy sector while driving sustainable growth and addressing environmental challenges.